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Area Gallery records, 1958-1977, bulk 1959-1964

Area Gallery records, 1958-1977, bulk 1959-1964

Area Gallery (New York, N.Y.)

Collection Information

Size: 1.1 linear feet

Summary: The records of the Area Gallery measure 1.1 linear feet and date from 1958-1977 (bulk dates 1959-1964). Area Gallery was one of the Tenth Street Co-ops in New York City, and operated from 1958-1965. Materials in this collection include artist bios, price lists, black and white photos of artwork; financial records with annotations; member lists, exhibition lists, and daily notes; gallery sign-in sheets; correspondence, including letters to and from the gallery and regarding rent issues; and an extensive scrapbook containing exhibition posters, photos of artwork, announcements, exhibition reviews, and clippings.

Biographical/Historical Note

Area Gallery, one of the Tenth Street Co-ops in New York City operated from 1958-1965.

Provenance

The records were donated in 1978 by Ruth Becker Fortel, Treasurer of Area Gallery.

Related Materials

A Finding Aid to the Area Gallery Records, 1958-1977, bulk 1959-1964, in the Archives of American Art
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Author
Finding aid prepared by Anna Rimel
Biographical/Historical note
Area Gallery was one of the Tenth Street Co-ops in New York City, and operated from 1958-1965. From fall 1958 to summer 1962, the gallery was located at 80 East 10th Street, and then moved to 90 East 10th Street until the summer of 1965. Area Gallery's original members were: Tom Boutis, John Ireland Collins, Charles DuBack, Joe Fiore, Bernard Langlais, Ed Moses, Daphne Mumford, and Paul Yakovenko.
New York's Tenth Street Galleries were a cooperative of artist-run galleries that began opening in the early 1950s, located between 3rd and 4th Avenues, where spaces for living and studios were relatively inexpensive. It was the center for anything new and avant-garde in downtown Manhattan at this time. Galleries operated on very low budgets, artists were often members of more than one gallery, and they provided an alternative to the highly selective Madison Avenue and 57th Street galleries. The top galleries of the 10th Street Co-ops were the Tanager, Hansa, James, Camino, March, Phoenix, Brata, and Area Gallery.
Arrangement note
The collection is arranged as 5 series.
Series 1: Administrative Records, 1958-1977 (8 folders; Box 1)
Series 2: Correspondence, 1958-1965 (3 folders; Box 1)
Series 3: Artist Files, 1959-1964 (15 folders; Box 1)
Series 4: Financial Records, 1958-1965 (0.4 linear feet; Box 1-2)
Series 5: Scrapbook, 1959-1966 (0.3 linear feet; Box 3)
Scope and Contents note
The records of the Area Gallery measure 1.1 linear feet and date from 1958-1977 (bulk dates 1959-1964). Area Gallery was one of the Tenth Street Co-ops in New York City, and operated from 1958-1965. Materials in this collection include artist bios, price lists, black and white photos of artwork; financial records with annotations; member lists, exhibition lists, and daily notes; gallery sign-in sheets; correspondence, including letters to and from the gallery and regarding rent issues; and an extensive scrapbook containing exhibition posters, photos of artwork, announcements, exhibition reviews, and clippings.
Administrative records contain member lists, daily operational notes and messages, artwork loan contracts to museums, some mail received by the gallery, and all sign-in sheets for the gallery from 1962-1965. It is noted that all sign-in sheets prior to April 1962 have been lost.
Correspondence is primarily to and from the Treasurer of Area Gallery, and also contains requests for hire and exhibitions, member resignations, payments made and received. Additionally, rent correspondence contains letters regarding late or overdue payments.
The artist files and scrapbook contain black and white photographs of artwork, artist bios, price lists, and some exhibition announcements, and represent a small fraction of the number of artists who showed at Area Gallery. The scrapbook also contains exhibition review clippings and exhibition posters.
The financial records include cancelled checks, many of which have been annotated, deposit slips and bank statements, also annotated. Receipts for bills, supplies, artist payments, and dues are also included, as well as two bookkeeping ledgers.
Provenance
The records were donated in 1978 by Ruth Becker Fortel, Treasurer of Area Gallery.
Related Archival Materials note
Also found in the Archives of American Art is a collection relating to the Tenth Street Galleries and collection donor, Ruth Fortel. See: Joellen Bard's, Ruth Fortel's, and Helen Thomas' exhibition records of "Tenth Street Days: the Co-ops of the 50s," 1953-1977.
Processing Information note
The collection was processed to a minimal level and a finding aid prepared by Anna Rimel in 2014. The Archives of American Art has implemented minimal processing tactics when possible in order to increase information about and access to more of our collections. Minimal processing included arrangement to the series, subseries, and folder levels. Generally, items within folders were simply verified with folder titles, but not arranged further. Folders with boxes may not be numbered. The collection was rehoused in archival containers and folders, but not all staples and clips were removed.

Restrictions on Access

Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.

How to Cite This Collection

Area Gallery records, 1958-1977, bulk 1959-1964. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

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